ROHINI MALAGI, Staff Writer
KIMBERLY FIRRELLO, Interviewer
Photo Courtesy of ANDRE PEARSON
The Banner was able to interview Andre Pearson to find out a bit more about who he is and the passions that drive him. Andre is a sophomore this year and is part of the class of 2023. Kimberly Firrello sat down with him to discuss his enthusiasm for athletics, art, and the school community. Andre Pearson has given permission for his words, name, and any photos given to be used in this article.
Andre is a part of the track team at NBTHS and is a team captain. He has been running track since he was a kid. He officially started in 2015 and ran for his club. He has been interested since elementary school and explains, “The reason I joined track was because I lost one race in 5th grade. And I was never going to lose again.” His main factor for keeping passionate about track is watching the Olympics. “That always re-motivates me if I don’t have motivation. Seeing videos online of college kids living those expensive lives,” he shares. He also absolutely loves competing and the feel of winning.
When it comes to running track for NBTHS he opens up, “I was running as a kid before high school. And how that works is that you’re only competing against kids your age so, when I came to this school with all four grades. You’re competing against people from 14 to 18. I was very shocked and had to push myself to the limits. And I felt very unmotivated when I wouldn’t win as much as I used to.” When quarantine happened, Andre expressed that he felt extremely bored and vowed that he would put 110% in. He became the team captain this year for being a good role model and always being positive. “I used to change in the music room bathrooms just so I wouldn’t be late to practice” he adds. He would carry all his equipment in his school bag and although he was shy, he always cheered for his teammates.
In 2016, he went to the Junior Olympics and participated in the 200 meters, 400 meters, and 4 by 400 relay. In 2017, he participated in the Indoor National Championships, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field. In 2018 and 2019, he took part in the Indoor National Championships and Junior Olympics. In 2018 he won the GMC Championship which was a very important moment for himself and Linwood Middle School.
Within the school, he is involved in the Environmental Club, Black Cultural Alliance, and Key Club. He joined the Environmental Club because he is passionate about the environment. He wants to make a positive impact on the planet. He joined Black Cultural Alliance in his freshman year. “I was very nervous about high school and wanted to be in an environment where I could fully be myself and have connections,” he shares. He explains that he joined Key Club because “Ever since I was in middle school I have been in love with community service.” He is on the fundraising committee in the Environmental Club and aspires to run for Treasure in the Black Cultural Alliance. Recently he has signed up for the Athletic Internship and his interview is soon.
Andre is also the class of 2023 Treasurer and is part of SGO (Student Government Organization). The role of Treasurer involves handling money and working on fundraising. He became interested in his freshman year when he saw his friend Celeste McKenzie (Class of 2023 Vice President) who was fundraising and offered to help. He recalls, “I asked for the cup to collect money and ended up raising like three times as much money as Celeste did.” He plans to run again for senior year and is excited to start planning Junior Prom next year.
Andre has a significant social media presence where he showcases his photography. “I got interested in photography when [I heard about] the competition ACT-SO. There was a woman for primarily students of color [who explained it to me]. And this was a big deal and if you do well you can go to regional and national competitions,” he explains. He describes how he and his friend agreed to do it although he knew nothing about photography. Unfortunately, this competition got cut short due to the pandemic.
For his birthday he was given a camera and watched YouTube videos on how to use it. “The monotony of quarantine really brought out the motivation in me,” he explains, “I loved the photos I was taking and decided, why not make an Instagram account and post them?” He has started taking photos of his track team and doing formal events. While he is not sure where photography will take him, he is hopeful for the future. He enjoys taking photos because he loves photo albums and capturing memories and moments in time. He was the runner up in The Banner’s photography competition.
When asked about how these interests and passions have shaped him he responds, “I feel like I’m really well rounded. I’m not the average human being and I have so many sides to me. I’m athletic and do the arts. I was in the marching band in my freshman year. All of this just really turns you into a well rounded person and humbles you a lot. It’s helped me gain a lot of perspective.”
Photo Courtesy of ANDRE PEARSON